Here is a poem that I wrote in response to the Magma subscribers’ ‘Authentification’ competiton in 2018. (See ‘News and Publications’ from the sidebar.) The theme was to do with computers and identification. It was a fun theme, but got up close and personal in ways that I didn’t expect. Perhaps some AI, somewhere, is becoming more human due to our every day interactions with computers.
I find I am tied to a past over which I had little influence.
Can confirm birthdate, attendance at a mixed infants school from about 1960, where I learned to write numerals on a slate, with chalk, as we all did in those days. No paper.
Later, I mastered decimal and other forms of numerical notation at a school far from that place. <Insert Date>
The computer is a doddle. It remembers for me. I can’t wipe the numbers away with a cloth. But my fingerprint is a persistent nuisance requiring alcohol wipes.
But can write what the heck I like and deleted/delete it. Click Save. Not, Send, for ****’s
sake. Deleted. I can see you expect me to be open about memories.
Perhaps I don’t trust you too much. I know something of algorithms.
(Algorithm is an anagram of logarithm.)
My name is not as it says on the tin: invisible typing.
My first car was a Hillman Imp. Hardly anyone knows
that it was <blue>.
I didn’t get on with that car. It had a terrible choke and aluminium bodywork. No seatbelts.
You want the date of my marriage? The town of my birth? The street where I grew up? Where did I meet my husband? My favourite food? They are on different maps. Guess me if you can. There is a chance I’ll forget these things. This is an interrogation.
Captcha me. Save me from sin. And robots.
I don’t know who I am, to reduce my life like this. Open the future. Save the future.